Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Jingle Cross re-cap

Hey Gang,

It was a big weekend, it's a big post, enjoy the awesome-ness that is Jingle Cross.


The Strokes 'Modern Age'

So today is Tuesday, but last weekend i did three days of cross racing in Iowa City, IA. Jingle Cross! i had been looking forward to this all year, it did not disappoint.

How should i describe Jingle Cross... It's like a circus. The racing is fun, fast and rediculus. The hills are massive, both up and down, The fields are way bigger than any local race, and the racers are fast. Plus the crowd really get's into into it. it get's even better when big Names like Jamie Driscol, Tyan Trebon, Todd Wells and Chris Horner show up to race.

Now on my race recap's.


The starts for all three day's were really fun, 40 to 50 dudes hauling ass around fast, wide sweeping turns. The first two minutes of each race was like a video game. On friday I got a good start and was sitting top 10 but ended up fading throughout the race. Actually I felt pretty good all weekend but lot's of folk's were just faster. Friday's race was punctuated by a huge descent w/ two switchbacks and a surface consisting of frozen mud that had a gloss to it thanks to the flood lights. it was a total ice skating rink. i fell every lap. i usually fell before you even got to the hardest part, so from there i would just run thru the switchbacks (ocasionallly falling while running, yes, it was that slick) and once you got past them it was fairly easy to re-mount your bike and bomb down the final long strait away, all you had to do was say a quick prayer, hop on the saddle, and hope for the best.

This final descent was fun in a terrifying way. i got nervous every time i approached it but luckily none of the races allowed much time to think, just react. 2nd time down a dude in front of me endo's then i passed two guy's on the ground and one's leg is completly thru the triangle of the others frame and they're struggling to seperate them selves. Just another day in the cat 3 field at Jinglecross, i guess.

This crazy hill also made it impossible to keep track of the race, every time down was chaos and you had no idea how many guys had passed you and how many guy's you'd passed.

It was nice to see the elite men have trouble with this descent as well (Horner seemed to have a particularly rough time) it made me feel a little better about my own performance.

When it was all said and done I ended up 16 out of around 44.


My start wasn't as good as yesterday and i batteled in the middle of the field all day. the Toughest part of the course was the run up, steep and long, followed by a climd that was long and bumpy. lot's of climbing at Jinglecross. (It makes Manion's seem much easier) Luckily lots of climbing also means you get to go down, and today's descent, unlike yesterday's, was dry and safe. Of course despite that i still managed to come in too hot and plow right into the tape at the bottom, taking out a large blue barrell in the process, but it was all in good fun.

The very end of the race contained what i think is my first legit sprint finish. Me and another dude duked it out over a dead strait, dead flat, 75 yard stretch. what's that in meters? he beat me by a bike length, but it was awesome. We were hauling a*s. I had plenty of juice but he had more. He sat in my draft for a few seconds and then came around me. Maybe if i sprint from the drops next time ill come out on top. One weird note, we only raced for about 37 minutes.

I finished 22 out of about 50.

p.s. the 'dollar bill chicks' only came out for the elite men's race, total bummer.


This would be my best race and best result of the weekend. 13th out of 44. i had a good start and did a good job of keeping my bike upright pretty much all race. The promoters took out the huge hill for safety reasons (too slick due to frozen mud. i guess) for everyone except the elite women and man, so after the two previous day's of climbing - descending - repeat, it was time for a more traditional course. i was fine with this.

The race still had plenty of technical sections (including lot's of gravel) plus it was the muddiest day of the weekend, so there were plenty of equalizers over some of the faster dude's in the race. i did well on all the technical sections and even gapped a few people on the run up in the last lap. I've been doins a little stair running in prep for this weekend, and that little burst up the hill was what i got for it. it was worth it. At the very end i sprinted again to try and catch a rider a few seconds up ahead, i gave it full gas but it was a little to far to bridge.

i think i was on the hoods again.

So that was Jinglecross. it was an amazing weekend. sure, i never achieved my goal of top 10, but looking back i'd say the entire weekend was a complete success. I can't wait to go back.

Jingle Cross Rock's!!!


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Jingle Cross awaits...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yesterday it was warm, today it's cold, tomorrow i'm off to race my cross bike at Jingle Cross.

Last year at Jingle Cross my best finish of the three day's was 7th of around 49 in Friday's cat 4 race. This year i'm doing the cat 3 race, but if i can equal that result i'd be a happy man. Sure i'd like to win, but looking at some of the folks who are registered, it would take a miracle.

The elite race's should be a blast to watch, Trebon, Well's bros, Driscoll, Horner, Wicks, Schmalz, Tillford.


Too bad it's not going to be warm enough in Iowa City to stop for Ice Cream. Sorbets make me go fast.

Have a great weekend everybody!


Sunday, November 21, 2010

It's baaack... Manions 2.0!

Hey Gang,

Did i mention that Jayhawk Basketball has started? Oh, and we had another cross race today... MANIONS 2.0!


So today was a cross race put on by the cycling team i'm a part of. We used the same venue as last time. It was a fun, hard, hilly, ocassionally windy course.

Manion's aint for baby weenies.

I'd say the course was about power and not so much skill. But i really dont know what the f' im talking about.

One thing i do know is that it take's a lot of folks to put on a cross race, and while it's a lot of work, its absolutely worth it. The people who come out and donate their time and sometimes more are what makes the KC Cross scene so great.

Keep it up KC!

As for my race... did the 3/4 race. Finished 3rd out of about 16. The field was small but the racing was good. After a slow (ie conservative) lemans start by me, i was near the very back on the first long straitaway. This strait away was a brutal head wind stretch but i luckily rode my friend's wheel all the way thru it. He pulled me up a few places so despite the bad start things were good. After two lap's i had ridden my way up to 2nd, but that ended quickly when i got some tape wrapped around my rear cassette. That put me into 4th. The tape had wrapped around multiple times but after a quick stop and check i decided to just pedal thru it.

I think it was the right decision. After about 1 lap the tape had worked into the cog's, in a good way, so that every gear was again an option. With about 1 lap to go I was sitting in 3rd place but that's as far as i would get. I came close to 2nd, especially on the last pass over the hills when i gave it everything i had, but it wasn't enough. He beat me by about 15 seconds.

No worries though, i was happy, plus i started drinking tall boy's of Tall Grass Beer almost immediately upon crossing the finishing line.

Just one great moment of a day chock full of 'em.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Cross Bonanza!!!... it's basically just two race re-cap's

Hey Gang,

This could be my best post ever. But I'm a modest guy.


I wanted to post this yesterday, but a surprise trip to the ER due to the gf's bum finger became an issue.

Will she be up and running by the time Jingle Cross rolls around?... stay tuned to find out.


Saturday was Heartland Park Cross in Topeka, KS. Cat 3 race. Lot's of fun. Very muddy. I'd never shouldered my bike that much in my entire life. I don't think Tillford shouldered it once, except before his race started. My shoes were so muddy that i was only clipped in for about 75 % of the race.

I've been going out and running once a week for about 6 weeks now. That helped during the race. the adobe mud, as my friend accurately called it, really gummed up everything. So running became good. Despite my weekly running endeavors, i was in dead last on the first pass thru the infield. i remember looking behind me with the bike on my shoulder, seeing no-one, and saying... 'we're in last place.'

But i stuck to my plan, which was to not ride the really muddy parts (which was basically everyone else's plan) and it worked out pretty well. i didn't have many mud on bike problems and about halfway thru the race i found myself in 4th place, behind t rex. that's what ill call him. I attacked the t rex, but in the end he was to strong and got the better of me. Still... lot's of fun. i may have actually caught and beat him at the very end but both my feet slipped off the pedals going up a hill and i found my self standing over my top tube and having to shuffle 10 steps up the hill before i could remount. This was about 4o seconds from the finish line. And then, not 5 seconds after i remounted, i see that the t rex had bobbled as well but he's already recovered and is pedaling off to glory.

so it was exciting.

And i still placed well enought to win a little money.


Sunday was the De Stad Cross Cup At St Mary's Campus in Leavenworth, KS.

Again, lots of fun.

Beautiful fall day.

In a nutshell... cat 3/4 race, i started on the front row and was feeling good. Front row start's really do make a big difference. Then, i tried a stupid pass on the very inside of a corner and fell down after it became apparent that the angle i took left absolutely no possibility in the physics of the know universe that i could actually make the turn. i spent over a lap catching up. Then during the finishing sprint, on the very last pass up the brick paved climb, i got smoked by cd from in-a-tub.

i bet i had 3 seconds on him when we hopped the curb from the grass to the brick road. But it only took 15 pedal strokes before he shot by my right side like bat out of hell. i was dead in the water. Honestly, i think i had the juice to go with him. It was a long uphill finish and that worked in my favor (very skinny) and helped to negate the fact that he's a good sprinter. But i was not prepared for the effort required at the end of a long and close cross race. People go fast at the end. Don't underestimate it.

So it was another exciting day on the cross bike.